AN EDINBURGH-based scientist turned entrepreneur has developed a revolutionary way to make all vaccines around the world ‘long life.’
The breakthrough is expected to save millions of lives globally.
Scientist Spyridon “Ross” Tsakas has found a new way to prolong the lifespan of drugs so that they can be stored without refrigeration for years, instead of days. They don’t lose any of their effectiveness or potency, either.
The new system works by storing life-saving antibiotics, vaccines, insulin and other drugs as a dry powder in a single vial. Inside it is a second bottle containing a liquid. When its cap is pressed the powder and solution mix together. The medicine becomes active immediately.
The importance of this simple, but revolutionary idea has immense implications globally. All liquid medicines sold today have short shelf lives. They also require refrigeration from manufacture until consumption.
Antibiotics and vaccines are currently manufactured in sets of two separate vials – one powder, one liquid. When medics rehydrate the powder it creates a ‘short life’ drug. Unless refrigerated or used quickly, it soon deteriorates.
But with the new process, the vaccine or antibiotic is made only when it is needed. The ‘two in one’ vial – unmixed – can be stored without refrigeration for up to four years.
“The prospects are immense,” said Spyridon. “It would also reduce manufacturing and transportation costs. It gives drugs a much longer shelf life while avoiding many contamination risks.”